Wednesday, March 3, 2010


“Going, going, going…..” the auctioneer cried. My husband and I sat on the edge of our seats.

“Grammy, we’re having a tea party,” Sydney called to me. The small, antique ice cream parlor table and chairs had found its way to the living room.

The girls set the table and filled the tea pot with lemonade in lieu of tea. Instead of tea cakes, Girl Scout Cookies were served. Knees knocked beneath the table as everyone jostled to get settled. ‘Tea’ was served and manners echoed those of a British tea room. After all this time, the girls still held dear this once routine. Golly, this morning ritual had been in place since Sydney was old enough to trust with a ceramic tea cup. After a long period of gathering dust, the table set was moved upstairs to my bedroom where the girls occasionally played with dolls from my childhood. But on this day, they carried the set downstairs, pulled out the ‘china’ and stepped back in time.

Every week antique auctions were held at the armory. I had just begun my love of antiques after finding a few pieces on the old farm in Ohio before moving to Wisconsin. Usually we focused on pottery or pieces of furniture, but something was new in the Drake household. Her name was Stacey. When the small ice cream parlor set was placed on the auction table, I knew I had to have it for my newborn daughter. The wooden seats and table top were worn. One chair was even missing a seat. The metal was rusted, yet potential was written all over it.

I offered the set to my daughter when my first granddaughter was born. She wanted a new set instead of old. Had she taken it, I would have missed many wonderful conversations, donuts and milk shared with my granddaughters over the years with our morning tradition on the little chairs.

“Can I have the tea set some day, Grammy?” asked Gabby. Hm. I looked for another tea set but could not find one as sweet as the set we were using. My old tea set was dated and neither girl wanted to use it for our morning ritual.

“How about the set going to the next little girl who joins our family? Uncle and Auntie Lisa might have a little girl who would love to use it when she comes to visit, and some day your little girls could use it as well,” replied fast thinking Grams.

What traditions do we give our grandchildren? What of us will they pull up from the past that brings a smile to the faces and a tradition to their family as well?

“Going, going, gone to the young couple with the new baby and their future generations.” Sweet. So sweet.

1 comment:

  1. I love the thought of sharing and creating traditions with our families. It seems to me that objects such as your tea set become imbued with the spirit of those who love them.